Mosquitoes, fleas, gnat's, maggots, ants, moths, fly's, wasps, yellow jackets, meat bees, honey bees, hornets, ticks, chiggers, spiders, no see-ums, etc, etc . . .
They can make a camping trip miserable.
picking out a campground or campsite, try to stay far away from
thick bushy woods, deep grass, stagnant ponds, out houses, garbage
dumpsters and anything you think may attract the little creatures.
are many things you can purchase to help cut down on,
have favorite colors, too!
Tight cuffs on your shirts and pants are always a helpful addition; this keeps the bugs from crawling up your legs and arms.
a campfire (if they're allowed).
camp right next to the water.
been said taking garlic supplements, or eating garlic
coils, body spray repellant, repellant lotion, citronella candles,
and repellant sprays for your cloths, the less useful perimeter bug
sprays and a whole lot more.
have found that there is nothing that repels everything.
When sitting down to eat, one can be moved to the table either under or near to it upwind. Besides that, also use spray repellant or lotion on each member of your party. This is a backup to the coils and/or candle, incase a mosquitoes gets to you anyway.
Again nothing will eliminate all, but coils and/or candle do seem to help cut down on them.
Usually bug repellants use a chemical nicknamed "DEET" in concentrations from 10-100% that is primarily effective for repelling mosquitoes and ticks. There has been some concern over safety, since it is a powerful chemical that is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Those products with 20-25% concentrations have been found effective, but for children, the Americana Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 10%.
Use DEET products sparingly, keeping it away from eyes, lips, or broken skin and off of children's hands which may end up in their mouth. Once it is not needed, wash it off with soap and water. Consider treating your clothes rather than your skin, but note that DEET can damage Spandex, rayon, acetate, waterproof coatings and the plastic in sunglasses.
Controlled release formulas work longer and minimize your exposure since you are applying it less frequently. Lotion formulas can repel bugs up to twice as long as liquids and sprays (of the same strength in active ingredients) which have a higher initial evaporation rate.
Natural repellents are only effective for a short period of time, and have limited repelling effects. They use essential oils such as citronella, citrus products, or other plant oils, and though natural, can be irritating to the skin in high concentrations.
Travelers should be advised that permethrin-containing repellents (e.g., Permanone or deltamethrin) are recommended for use on clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear. Permethrin is highly effective as an insecticide and as a repellent. Permethrin-treated clothing repels and kills ticks, mosquitoes, and other arthropods and retains this effect after repeated laundering. There appears to be little potential for toxicity from permethrin-treated clothing. The insecticide should be reapplied after every five washings.
Most authorities recommend repellents containing N,N-diethylmetatoluamide (DEET) as an active ingredient. DEET repels mosquitoes, ticks, and other arthropods when applied to the skin or clothing. In general, the more DEET a repellent contains, the longer time it can protect against mosquito bites. However, there appears to be no added benefit of concentrations greater than 50%. A microencapsulated, sustained-release formulation can have a longer period of activity than liquid formulations at the same concentrations. Length of protection also varies with ambient temperature, amount of perspiration, any water exposure, abrasive removal, and other factors.
No definitive studies have been published about what concentration of DEET is safe for children. No serious illness has arisen from use of DEET according the manufacturers recommendations. DEET formulations as high as 50% are recommended for both adults and children >2 months of age. Lower concentrations are not as long lasting, offering short-term protection only and necessitating more frequent reapplication. Repellent products that do not contain DEET are not likely to offer the same degree of protection from mosquito bites as products containing DEET. Non-DEET repellents have not necessarily been as thoroughly studied as DEET and may not be safer for use on children. Parents should choose the type and concentration of repellent to be used by taking into account the amount of time that a child will be outdoors, exposure to mosquitoes, and the risk of mosquito-transmitted disease in the area. The recommendations for DEET use in pregnant women do not differ from those for nonpregnant adults.
DEET is toxic when ingested and may cause skin irritation in sensitive persons. High concentrations applied to skin can cause blistering. However, because DEET is so widely used, a great deal of testing has been done, and over the long history of DEET use, very few confirmed incidents of toxic reactions to DEET have occurred when the product is used properly.
Travelers should be advised that the possibility of adverse reactions to DEET will be minimized if they take the following precautions:
Use enough repellent to cover exposed skin or clothing. Do not apply repellent to skin that is under clothing. Heavy application is not necessary to achieve protection. If repellent is applied to clothing, wash treated clothing before wearing again.
Do not apply repellent to cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
Do not spray aerosol or pump products in enclosed areas; do not breathe in.
Do not apply aerosol or pump products directly to the face. Spray your hands and then rub them carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.
When using repellent on a child, apply it to your own hands and then rub them on your child. Avoid the childs eyes and mouth and apply sparingly around the ears.
Do not apply repellent to childrens hands. (Children tend to put their hands in their mouths.)
Do not allow children under ten years old to apply insect repellent to themselves; have an adult do it for them. Keep repellents out of reach of children.
Protect infants two months of age and under by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
nets, repellents containing DEET, and permethrin should be purchased
before traveling and can be found in hardware, camping, sporting
goods, and military surplus stores. Overseas, permethrin or another
insecticide, deltamethrin, may be purchased to treat bed nets and clothes.
Natural Insect Repellents
Try a cedar oil spray. I get it at PetSmart & use it on the dogs, cats & kids - it may seem a bit pricey but one bottle lasts for awhile. There may be another source for it among herbal shops, natural food stores, etc. One tip for anyone using it for fleas - it's a REPELLANT and works best if used before you see any fleas. If you've already got fleas, the same company makes a shampoo.
I found out many years ago, when I was a young teenager, that just splashing plain rubbing alcohol on me and allowing it to dry would deter mosquitoes from biting me. I am allergic to mosquito bites and develop huge welts everywhere they bite me. With the alcohol, they never bit me. And once it dries, it leaves a pleasant odor on the skin, not repugnant at all. Thought this might help. And it only costs less than 50 cents a bottle!
-- Linda G from Tennessee
This is going to floor you, but one of the best insect repellents I have found and I am in the woods every day, is Vick's Vaporub. I rub it on my pants and legs to ward off ticks. If you can tolerate the smell it's pretty good.
I don't know how "organic" you want to go, or if it's just DEET you're trying to avoid. But here in Jacksonville, NC, home of Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, our "tough guy" Marines who spend a great deal of time "camping out" say that the very best mosquito repellant you can use is Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil mixed about half and half with alcohol. I've tried it, and I have to admit it works just as well if not better than the commercial sprays. Actually, I just saw an ad on TV this week for Avon's own Skin-So-Soft insect repellant. I'm assuming it's made about the same way -- but it may turn out to be less expensive in the long run to mix your own. An added plus -- it smells great too.
-- Carol D.
drops Eucalyptus oil
Mix together in a 4 oz. container. Apply to skin as needed avoiding the eye area. Keep out of reach of children. Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities . Experiment with different percentages of essential oil.
One of the best natural insect repellants that I've discovered is made from the clear real vanilla (not the grocery store vanilla extract which is mostly alcohol). This is the pure vanilla that is sold in Mexico. It's cheap there if you know of someone that lives there or in the US close to the border. If not, health food stores usually carry it or can order it for you. I use it half vanilla and half water and find that it works great for mosquitoes and ticks, don't know about other insects. It's nice that you don't smell like a chemical plant but a cookie! I cannot use chemical insecticides, so I love the way this works and I hope you and your kids will also.
To the person who needed natural insect repellent. This is not natural but if you put out moth ball in the yard where children can't find them, they are great for mosquito. Or make a mixture of 1part baby powder, 1 part flower of sulfur(found at drug stores), 1 part cornstarch. Mix in a ziploc bag, sprinkle on the ground. Repels most bugs.
-- Rose M
Make your own by filling a quart jar with some herbs from the mint family - catnip, spearmint, pennyroyal and then cover with apple cider vinegar. Shake twice a day for 2 weeks. Strain and either rub on or spray on.
I just read about a pleasant solution, though, that worked for me last weekend in the mountains (lots of biting bugs, but they pretty much left me alone.) Use lavender oil, and dab it on your pulse points (I used it on my wrists, behind my ears, temples, behind my knees, and on my ankles). Smells wonderful, but apparently the insects don't think so.
I, The Webmaster of this site have not tried any of these techniques, yet
I've been bit or stung!
Flies and Mosquitoes
These pests can quickly bring an end to your comfort around the campground, so take along something that will repel these little nasties. Citronella candles help keep them away from the immediate area, but for thorough protection you may need to apply a bug repellent to your skin.
number of mosquitoes at any given location is inversely proportional
to the amount of repellent that remains.
away from wet, grassy areas.
Avoid using fragrant or scented personal products.
Wear light colored long sleeve shirts and pants.
Dark colors, especially navy blue and black, attract insects.
Wear a hat and a bandana on your head and neck.
Keep cool - bugs are attracted to sweat.
Traditional bug repellent - most contain DEET as the active ingredient against bugs. Use this sparingly. This chemical may be harmful and should not be used on children.
N-Diethylmetatoluamide, commonly known as DEET.
Liquid or cream repellents are much more potent (a better buy) than sprays.
-BEN GAY is a surprisingly good insect repellent.
Avon Skin So Soft - tests don't prove this but many insist that it works.
candles and oil
Build a small fire, smoke will keep most bugs away
up tent door always. Even if you're just in for a minute
off flashlight before entering the tent.
Garlic - it will secrete through your pours.
or Vitamin B
Citrus - deters the bugs.
Camp in the cooler months, Spring & Fall
If you have been bit by a mosquito, it's going to be a little sore, but there's not much that you can do about it.
might try a cool, damp washcloth if it stings or some calamine
lotion if it itches.
-Household ammonia and water will cut the sting of mosquito bites.
Biting Midges,""no-see-ums," "punkies," or "sand flies"
They are very small flies (about 1/25-1/10) inch long whose small but bladelike mouthparts make a painful wound out of proportion to its tiny size. Welts and lesions from the bite may last for days. The larvae of various species breed in a wide variety of damp or wet places high in organic matter. Most are attracted to lights. One vicious biter breeds along the Atlantic coast in salt marshes and wet soil. Another species, found in mountainous areas, feeds in the evening and night hours and is small enough to pass through ordinary screens. These are important pests along coastal and mountainous areas and can seriously interfere with outdoor activities.
These tiny biting gnats are small enough to fly trough standard mesh bug netting. They bite with a fiery nip. Noseeum tent netting will stop these critters cold; however, noseeum net is so tightly woven that ventilation may be a problem in muggy weather.
Head nets are best constructed of dark-colored standard mesh mosquito net, both for good visibility and ventilation. It's difficult to see through the milk-colored noseeum net supplied with many tents.
Okay, you have used every
In any case always watch for an allergic reaction.
Signals of allergic
reactions may develop quickly.
Disturb their nests and you will be attacked. All of the bees are active throughout the warm weather months, but late summer and early fall, when their numbers are highest, are particularly troublesome times. Ground nesting yellow jackets frequently choose banks along back country trails to build, while both wasps and hornets seem partial to limbs overhanging water. Several types of bees are attracted to foods in camp. Anyone who has a history of allergic reactions needs to be particularly cautious, and should flee immediately after disturbing a nest, then assess the situation after you have gotten away from the danger. Obviously you should carefully examine your surroundings before setting up camp.
these nasty flying things are nothing more than a quick,
you still want to get the stinger and poison out.
Most often, the symptoms that come from these insect stings include:
Try to avoid getting stung.
food and drink containers tightly covered.
Don't wear perfume, colognes, or hair spray when you are outdoors.
wear bright colors.
swat or otherwise provoke bees or yellow jackets with your bare hands.
Wear insect repellents especially if you are sensitive to insect stings.
an insect that stings gets in your car,
Reality: Delaying professional treatment could be fatal.
The right approach: For symptoms such as breathing problems, tight throat or swollen tongue, call an ambulance immediately.
The stinging insects play a vital part in our environment and economy. When we confuse them with our bright colors, our sweet scents, our sources of nourishment, they are attracted to our surroundings and to us. When we threaten them, they aggressively protect themselves and their hives. They are very unlikely to sting until they perceive a threat. Our best protection is not to poison or bait, but to respect their habits and, give them the wide berth that they deserve, then stings become unlikely.
The ultimate in "crawly"!
Recognized by the eight legs
attached to the cephalothorax,
While all spiders kill their prey by injecting poison, only two spiders have the ability to actually harm most people.
Almost all spiders are capable of
producing venomous bites.
The U.S. Public Health Service reports that poisonous bites are a very minor cause of death in the United States. Annually, venomous animals produce death as follows: bees, 12; wasps and other hymenoptera, 10; snakes, 14; spiders, six; and scorpions, one.
The two most common, poisonous spiders; the brown recluse and the black widow are of most concern and will be discussed in detail.
Two other species, Chirocanthium
inclusum (a common running spider) and Argiope aurantia (the black
and yellow garden spider), have occasionally been reported as
inflicting serious bites in humans.
Its body is about one-half inch
long (smaller than a dime), and it has long legs.
Black widow spiders and their relatives can be found almost anywhere in the Western hemisphere of the world.
The black widow's range in North America is from Massachusetts to Florida and west to California, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Although they can be found in almost every state (and some portions of Canada), this spider is most common in the Southern locales of the United States.
They can be found in damp and dark places.
Their favorite places are wood
piles, tree stumps, trash piles, storage sheds, fruit and vegetable
gardens, in stone walls, and under rocks. If they come inside, they
will go to dark places like corners of closets, garages, or behind furniture.
What a Black Widow Spider Bite
A person who gets bitten by a
black widow spider might not know it right away, since the bite can
sometimes feel like a little pinprick and may go unnoticed.
The symptoms, which generally
occur about two hours after you get bit can include: abdominal pain
similar to appendicitis as well as pain to muscles or the soles of
There is no first aid treatment
available for spider bites.
Seek Medical Attention!
What You Should Do
If you ever think that you've been
bitten by a black widow spider, tell someone immediately.
If it's possible, catch and bring
the spider to the doctor's office with you. Even though it's usually
easy to identify black widows, you'll want to make sure that's the
kind of spider that bit you.
The Brown Recluse
The Brown Recluse is another spider that is poisonous that you must be on the lookout for.
It has long, skinny legs and is
about one-half inch long overall.
Brown recluse spiders are most
commonly found in Midwestern and Southern states of the U.S. Many
cases of bites are reported from Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and
Oklahoma. The edge of its range just reaches the tip of western
Virginia, but it occurs rarely in this state.
Bites often occur when the spiders hide in towels or old clothes left in those areas.
What a Brown Recluse Spider Bite
A person who gets bitten by a brown recluse spider may not notice anything at first or only feel a little sting at first. After about four to eight hours, the sting will start to hurt a little more. It might look like a bruise or might form a blister surrounded by a bluish-purple area that turns black or brown and becomes crusty after a few days.
If you get bit by a brown
recluse spider you may not notice anything at first or only feel a
What You Should Do
If you ever think that you've been
bitten by a brown recluse spider, tell somebody immediately.
Wash the bite well with soap and water.
- this is important because it can sometimes be hard to diagnose a spider bite correctly.
The spider can be killed
first before you bring it with you;
Chiggers are tiny and red
As for chiggers, sometimes simply called "red bugs," the sad truth of the matter is that you usually become aware of their presence after the fact. They can bring on miserable itching after piercing the skin, and the virtually invisible insects have a distinct preference for the more private (and sensitive) parts of the body.
Contrary to popular belief, chiggers do not burrow into the skin, but pierce the skin,
Chiggers are found all over the place, including in grassy fields, along lakes and streams, and in forests. There are adult chiggers and baby chiggers (called larvae), but only the baby chiggers bother people and animals.
Chiggers have tiny claws that allow them to attach tightly onto people and animals. Once attached, they are able to pierce the skin and inject their saliva, which contains digestive juices that liquify skin cells. The chigger then slurps up the liquefied skin cells. To the chigger, this is a tasty meal! Having a chigger do this is very irritating to your skin. After a few days, the chigger will be done feeding and fall off a person's skin, leaving behind a red welt where it had once been.
What a Chigger Bite Looks and Feels Like
If a person gets bitten by a chigger, the bite will be very itchy. A chigger bite will cause a tiny red bump, which will get bigger and itchier as time goes on.
What You Should Do
If you think you've been bitten by a chigger, wash the bite with soap and water. Put on some calamine lotion or cool compresses to help with the itching, or use an anti-itch cream or medicine.
Try not to scratch the bites too much, because this can make the bites become infected.
How to Avoid Getting Bitten
The best way to avoid getting bitten by a chigger is to wear an insect repellent.
Insect repellent containing "deet" (diethyltoluamide) is effective in reducing attractiveness of your body for chigger feeding. For maximum effectiveness, repellents should be applied to shoes, socks, pant cuffs, ankles and legs, and around the waist. To relieve itching of chigger bites, over-the-counter lotions and ointments may be helpful. The "painting" of bites with clear nail polish to destroy the chigger is probably not effective. By the time the bite itches, the chigger has already fed and dropped off.
When it's possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outside, especially if you'll be hiking or playing in fields.
Once you come in from being in an outdoor area that may have chiggers, take a hot shower and use plenty of soap. Also, be sure to wash your clothes in hot water to kill any chiggers that might be living there.
Because several hours elapse
before chiggers settle down to bite, bathing soon after exposure to
chigger-infested areas may wash chiggers off your body and prevent feeding.
The most suitable breeding areas of chigger mites are among weeds and thick vegetation are where there is an abundance of moisture and shade.
areas where chiggers are known to be a problem can be sprayed with
an appropriate insecticide labeled for chigger control. Sprays should
be made on grass, ground litter and soil, and shrubbery when chiggers
start to become a problem in June and July.
The tiny larval chigger mites
do not present a real medical health concern,
Ticks are no bigger than the size of a pinhead, and therefore, very difficult to spot.
Besides just being yucky, certain species of tick carry Lyme disease. When outdoors, prevention is the best measure: wear hats, cover exposed areas of skin with long clothes; use a repellent, such as those used on the skin containing DEET are considered to be the most effective in repelling ticks. Permethrin repellents/insecticides are designed to be applied directly to clothing, tents, sleeping bags, and any surface other than skin. It actually kills ticks and mosquitoes on contact, lasts up to 14 days and won't wash off in water.
walking through tall grass or brush.
routine inspections to check for ticks.
To avoid exposure to ticks, stay on the trails and avoid grassy, brushy areas.
light colored clothing so ticks can be seen. Wear long sleeve shirts
and tuck shirts into pants and pant legs into socks. Wear a hat. Do
not wear shorts on the trails.
Finding and removing a tick early (within 36 hours) is key to the prevention of Lyme disease.
Of the 840 known tick species, 100 of them transmit infections through their saliva. To prevent further saliva being released, once they bite, do not twist or squeeze. Grip as close as possible to the head and slowly pull it away from the skin. Tick Pliers or tweezers make it easier to grip and extract the tick without squeezing or cutting the tick's body.
As a last resort, if you are having trouble, and to make the tick uncomfortable use a heated paper clip, alcohol, acetone, oil, or swab a pesticide such as permethrin directly to the upper and lower surfaces of the tick. This will cause it to relax, making it easier to remove.
Wash with soap and water and apply an antiseptic. Preserve the tick in a vial or polybag for analysis (alive) in case disease symptoms appear.
not use Vaseline.
forget to check your pets for ticks also.
Be sure to use a flea and tick control medication or a flea and tick collar also.
An item we picked up at Wal-Mart that works GREAT for us.
The simple, gentle action of the patented design insures the complete removal of Ticks for both people and animals.
* The spring loaded claw securely
holds the Tick and a gentle turning action will easily and safely
Deer ticks are the pinhead-sized transmitters of Lyme disease, in all states except Alaska and Hawaii. This disease causes fever, flu-like symptoms, a target-shaped rash where it bit, and soreness and swelling, particularly in the joints.
Lone Star ticks transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and is found in all parts of the US. This disease causes headache, fever, severe muscle ache and a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet that spreads to other parts of the body.
ants fall into a class all by themselves, and across an increasingly
wide area of the warmer parts of the country they have become a fact
Fire ants are so called because their venom, injected by a stinger like a wasp's, creates a burning sensation. They are also active and aggressive, swarming over anyone or anything that disturbs their nest, be it wild animals, domestic animals, pets or people. An encounter with a fire ant nest can leave a lasting memory of burning pain, followed by tiny, itching pustules.
Because of this, and occasional stories of animals or people killed by multiple stings, people fear fire ants. In some areas infested with certain species of fire ants, playgrounds, parks, and picnic areas lie abandoned, unused because of the presence of fire ants. In campsites of state and national parks in fire ant infested areas, it is often difficult to put up or take down a tent without being stung by angry fire ants.
The red fire ant is now found throughout most of the southeastern United States and west into Texas.
black fire ant is very similar to the red imported fire ant
with devilish insects and trouble-making creatures is a fact of
you are not sure what is causing bites,
There is one more thing
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